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Newsagent's saved after local residents pitch in


A newsagent’s in Earby, Lancashire, has been saved after a husband and wife team took over the business with help from Yorkshire Bank.

Dave and Julie Birnie have become the new owners of the newly-named Have I Got News 4 You on Victoria Road, after purchasing the business from Anthony Down.

Anthony had planned to close the shop before local residents, and regular customers, Dave and Julie stepped in.

This comes after a tough period for Julie, who took voluntary redundancy from her position at healthcare and pharmaceuticals company, Johnson & Johnson, and had spent six months looking for a new job.

Julie said: “This is a really exciting challenge for me. I’ve spent the past 30 years working at Johnson & Johnson, so it’s a big change but something I am really looking forward to. Living locally, we were sad to hear the shop might close, so we thought long and hard, and made the decision to make an offer.

“Yorkshire Bank helped us a great deal, supporting us through the decision, and providing the necessary funding to make it happen. I was dying to get back to work, and although I know the hours will be long, I’m really looking forward to serving the local residents.”

Julie will be managing the shop, while Dave will continue to work in his sales executive role at Liverpool-based motor dealership, Peoples, helping at the shop when he can.

The 250 sq ft newsagent’s is the only one in Earby to deliver newspapers, and distributes to over 600 residents as far afield as Salterforth, Kelbrook and Thornton in Craven.

The shop is a traditional newsagent’s; the most popular items being newspapers, magazines and sweets. However, Dave and Julie plan to invest in seasonal stock, and refurbish the shop later in the year.

Kevin Hughes, managing partner at Yorkshire Bank’s Blackburn Financial Solutions Centre, said: “This is a huge opportunity for Dave and Julie and we are just as confident in the shop’s success as they are. They are both very enthusiastic about taking on the newsagent’s, and have some impressive plans in place for growing the business. We look forward to seeing them develop and wish them every success.”

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